10 QUESTIONS WITH ARMAND MAJIDI
June 12th, 2014 by Larry

While shooting “The Journeyman” segment for the The New York Hardcore Chronicles film, Drew Stone managed to slip in 10 quick questions with Armand “The Machine” Majidi (Sick Of It All, Rest In Pieces, Straight Ahead).

CRAIG AHEAD – THE FINAL ENTRY
July 1st, 2013 by Tim
CRAIG SETARI WITH SICK OF IT ALL IN SINGAPORE, 2007 | PHOTO: MAGNUS CALEB

CRAIG SETARI WITH SICK OF IT ALL IN SINGAPORE, 2007 | PHOTO: MAGNUS CALEB

So here we are, the final entry to this killer interview with Craig Ahead. It took awhile to get it all posted, but I think in the end, it was well worth the wait. Once again, big thanks to our friend Lenny Zimkus for orchestrating this interview for us and of course, huge thanks to Craig for delivering mind blowing story after mind blowing story. Now without further ado. -Tim DCXX

Tell us about Rest In Pieces.
Agnostic Front played from ’87-’89 and  then Roger got incarcerated for 18 months and during that time I played with Rest In Pieces. I was working as a furniture mover and playing with the band. It was a serious band but not one that was going to go on tour – we were more a local band with shows in the area. I would say that we were very professional musician-wise and we took a lot of care and time into the music that we were creating. We had written the record which would become Under My Skin and recorded in Long Island for one day. We thought it sounded like shit and we just left without paying. Then we went to Normandy and it came out really good, except that me and Rob were telling Armand his vocals were out of key and they sound really bad. In typical Armand fashion being headstrong he didn’t listen to us. Then two years later he told me and Rob, how come you didn’t tell me it sounded like that.

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How did you end up in Sick Of It All?
After the last AF show in Czechoslovakia I flew home and Armand called me to let me know Richie quit and they want me to go on tour. I couldn’t do it after that AF tour. I was going to stop doing this and go to school to be a chef. I wound up doing the tour with SOIA for 6 weeks with one day off after being in Europe for almost two months with AF. I came home, did my laundry and left. This was the tour after Just Look Around came out. We brought Ezec and Toby with us and it was so much fun, it was like being on tour with AF, but a light hearted version.
 
After being with those guys for that time I said fuck school I’m in the band. I knew them forever, I helped them out with writing songs or playing so it was a natural fit. So all of ’93 I played with them then we wound up signing to a major label and recorded Scratch The Surface. That was the point where my career really blew up and I felt like we were becoming a worldwide phenomenon- not just the band but hardcore as well. With hardcore I’ve been able to travel the world. I think I’ve pretty much been everywhere that there is a scene, except China, India, and Hawaii – I would really like to go those places.
 
I wake up and thank God with a smile for the life that I have. I am so grateful to be living the life that I live with the disposition I have to be able to appreciate and understand everything that I do. I have always understood my position and have realized how fortunate I am, and how great my karma is. I say this without being arrogant:  I live a great life, all of my dreams have come true. When I think about it I get choked up to this day. I have a farm with amazing views of the mountains which is something that I always wanted. I love my job which is what I always wanted to do – and people respect me, they thank me. I just did what I wanted, I didn’t have a safety net under me and it worked out to be this great thing. How amazing is it?
 
I was always into boxing as a hobby, and I dedicated myself to it for a year. I went on to be a trainer and I coached guys who went on to win amateur championships and titles. I was the assistant coach under my coach making good money training these guys. This was the ultimate fulfillment of the hobby to reach this peak in something I loved to do. I keep repeating it but I appreciate everything in my life and I am so thankful. Earlier I had mentioned that Hardcore was my life and I have to say it still is. It might not be as tight knit as it was then with going to shows and then hanging out in the park. But for me it’s an adult thing and I’ll be friends with these guys the rest of my life. Back then all I cared about was getting in a van and going to a show and being with my friends – nothing else mattered. And still to this day it’s the main focus of my life. If we have to get on a plane and go to a show that is our main focus…the four of us, there is no stopping us. With Sick Of It All we realize that this is our thing and nothing at all gets in the way, 100% dedicated 100% of the time.

CRAIG, ARMAND, PETE AND LOU OF SICK OF IT ALL

CRAIG, ARMAND, PETE AND LOU OF SICK OF IT ALL

What was the best and worst part of being in Youth Of Today?
The live show was the best. The worst part was the jock hazing they gave me because I was the kid from Queens without the right sneakers.

What was the best and worst part of being in Agnostic Front?
The best was the experience and the wild abandon that any situation was handled with, and the worst was the experience and the wild abandon that any situation was handled with, without a safety net, just taking a chance and seeing what happens.

What was the best and worst part of being in Rest In Pieces?
The best was it was a professional band with my friends and we all completely understood each other as musicians. We were confident that we’re trying to sound as powerful and intense musically as possible. The worst was it was a purely musical thing and we didn’t have the charisma to do what my other bands could do in a live show.

CRAIG WITH SOIA IN SIGAPORE, 2007 | PHOTO: MAGNUS CALEB

CRAIG WITH SOIA IN SIGAPORE, 2007 | PHOTO: MAGNUS CALEB

What was the best and worst part of being in Straight Ahead?
The best was that it was my baby and I was writing songs in the most natural primitive way I could. Those early days in Hardcore were such a thrill for me. The worst was the instability.

What is the best and worst part of being in Sick Of It All?
The best is these guys are my friends and my brothers since I was younger. It’s my home. The experiences we’ve had, the friends I’ve made all over the world…I really can’t describe it. If you could take my memories and put it on paper it would be like War and Peace of Hardcore. It has totally cultured me about any preconceived notions I’ve had about people. It’s opened my mind, eyes, and soul in this lifetime. I have nothing bad to say about it at all.

I never thought this would be my life but I took a chance and so far it’s worked out. I have no regrets.

SOIA_Nonstop

CRAIG AHEAD PART VI
June 21st, 2013 by Tim
CRAIG WITH SICK OF IT ALL AT THE COURT TAVERN, NEW BRUNSWICK NJ | PHOTO: KEN SALERNO

CRAIG WITH SICK OF IT ALL AT THE COURT TAVERN, NEW BRUNSWICK NJ | PHOTO: KEN SALERNO

Do you remember the first time you saw AF play?
The first time I saw them was at CB’s in 1984 and my memory of them is that Roger had his arm at a 90 degree angle gripping the microphone, the whole show his arm did not move no matter how many people carried him around or how much he got mixed up in the crowd his arm stayed at that angle with the microphone in his face singing. To me they were the quintessential hardcore band with chains around their waists, boots, cut off sleeves, army shorts…Hardcore, straight up hardcore. Later on when I made it into the band, I couldn’t believe I was in AF. I remember calling Armand, Pete and Lou and saying “yo I’m in Agnostic Front!”
 
It was unbelievable how I rose through the ranks and to be in the number one hardcore band. I had worked my way up playing in all these other bands but it happened so quick that I was playing with them. The band that I worshipped and idolized, the pinnacle of NYHC, something that I aspired to be…I was in the band. The band that made NYHC what it was…when Victim In Pain came out they took NYHC and put a flag and a stamp on it. I was in the band now and I couldn’t believe it.

CRAIG AT THE COURT TAVERN, NEW BRUNSWICK NJ | PHOTO: KEN SALERNO

CRAIG AT THE COURT TAVERN, NEW BRUNSWICK NJ | PHOTO: KEN SALERNO

AF shows were always packed we would do east coast tours, head out to the west coast, and after about a year and a half we went to Europe in 1990. It’s my first time out of the country and Roger gets deported in Switzerland 3 days into the tour because he had a criminal record. We had the roadie sing and I had to teach him all of the lyrics. That was a crazy tour. Afterwards I was sick from stress for 6 months. It was like being in Vietnam and coming back totally shell shocked. It was right around the time that the wall came down in Germany and East Germany was no longer communist. So the guys who booked the tour were these two Italian anarchists. We are sitting in a restaurant eating and  we go outside and they are fighting with the cops getting the living shit beat out of them. We go outside and they arrest all of us, they tell us our van is stolen. We don’t know what they are talking about so it turns out the van was stolen a few months ago and it was never taken off some list so here we are driving around in a stolen van and they put me in a cell which just a couple months ago was an East German communist jail. I’m put in a chair facing the wall, one guy puts on a pair of leather gloves and starts punching his hands and he’s laughing in my ear. The other guy is speaking Russian to me punching his hands. Roger is saying “fuck this!”  I’m laughing because by that time I’m hardened and I’m saying you’re not going to do shit, you’re all talk. They put each of us in our own cell for probably five hours and they eventually let us go but they stole all of the money we had in our brief case. That tour I made no money – they robbed thousands and thousands of Deutsche Marks from us.

CRAIG WITH SICK OF IT ALL AT WEBSTER HALL, NYC | PHOTO: KEN SALERNO

CRAIG WITH SICK OF IT ALL AT WEBSTER HALL, NYC | PHOTO: KEN SALERNO

I had been in this band for years and was put in crazy situations. I was in the middle of knife fights – people getting stabbed right in front of me…this was nothing to me. I slept on rotten squat floors with no ceilings next to junkies shooting up next to me the whole tour. The conditions on that tour were unimaginable, it was like being a homeless person except that you were being given a tour of European junkiedom, it was fucking crazy. At one show the Italian promoters are arguing with the German promoter and they smash a yogurt container against the bar, yogurt goes all over the German guy’s girlfriend and immediately the lights go out. The place is pitch black and they knew what they were doing. I knew the drill from being with these maniacs that we were in trouble. So I get down on the floor with one hand ready to sprint in any direction and the lights come on and five feet from my face everyone in the club has bats, pipes, sticks ready to beat the life out of us and throw us in a ditch and the one guy had a gun. So I yell out “back door! Run!” We’re running away from our van and they chase us about 100 yards and finally stop. We get back to the van and laugh how we almost died. These Italian guys started trouble everywhere. Roger would put me in these situations that I would have to get out of. He would say “Look what I’m going to do to Skully,” which was what they called me.
 
I would be outside a 7-11 and he would set something up where a group of grown men thought I did something to their car and I would have to deal with these guys wanting to fight me. This was the first time that I was making any money being in a band. I was an 18 year old kid making thousands and thousands of dollars. I would make three grand for ten days of work. But then I would sleep at Vinnie’s house for a week straight, eating sushi everyday until I spent all of my money.  Agnostic Front though was great and I really enjoyed it. I was in that band until 1993.  AF broke up due to a managerial situation that I won’t go into detail about. It is about the most insane story I could tell you that you wouldn’t believe. Next to me telling you that they had a contact with aliens, it’s about the next most shocking thing.

To be continued…

CRAIG TAKE THE MIC WITH SICK OF IT ALL AT THE COURT TAVERN | PHOTO: KEN SALERNO

CRAIG TAKE THE MIC WITH SICK OF IT ALL AT THE COURT TAVERN | PHOTO: KEN SALERNO

THE AUCTIONS OF GORILLA BISCUITS DRUMMER, LUKE ABBEY
February 4th, 2013 by Tim
GB 7" LABEL PHOTO OF LUKEY LUKE

GB 7″ LABEL PHOTO OF LUKIE LUKE

Every once in awhile, we here at DCXX are given the opportunity to shed some extra light on situations that we consider worthy. When Gorilla Biscuits drummer, Luke Abbey, reached out to us looking for a little assistance on selling some records, we were more than happy to help. Aside from the fact that Luke’s been dealing with a pretty significant injury and could use the extra money, we knew some of our readers would be more than interested in what Luke has to offer.

In addition to helping Luke with his auctions, we also managed to coordinate an interview with him. Expect in the very near future, a major interview with the guy that delivered the beats for bands like Warzone, Gorilla Biscuits and a handful of other legendary New York City Hardcore bands. I think it’s safe to say, we have high hopes for this one.

Now check out what Luke has to say regarding his auctions. –Tim DCXX

Hi Folks,
My name is Luke Abbey and I’m the drummer for the band Gorilla Biscuits. Recently, while we were playing in Chicago at the Revelation Records 25th anniversary show, I tore my biceps tendon. I’d already had a number of shoulder and arm injuries I’d been trying to manage on my own, but during our second song it finally gave out and completely snapped, forcing me to go in for surgery the following week. I underwent several repairs and am now embarking on a lengthy rehabilitation process while also facing considerable expenses.

A few days ago, I contacted Tim from Double Cross to ask if he would mind allowing me to post a collection of my own personal records and a few t-shirts on the Livewire message board in order to deal with my current and ensuing medical costs. He not only agreed to that, but was gracious enough to offer to run a full post on Double Cross in order to bring increased attention to my sale.

I’ve included absolutely every record I hope to sell – if it’s not listed, I don’t have it. All are in good playing condition and contain whatever lyric sheets were originally included – except where noted. They are all 1st pressings with a few exceptions which I’ve noted as well. The only drawback to any of these as far as I can tell, is that many of the jackets are distressed to some degree. That being said, nothing is in terrible condition, torn, or severely flawed. They’ve just got a bit of character. As for the t-shirts, they’ve been worn before but are neither torn nor altered, and are in wearable condition. 

Here is the link to the ebay pages where the auctions can be found. If anyone has any additional questions or would like additional photos, I’ll do my best to oblige.

My seller name is yebba72.

Additionally, I will respond to as many questions or requests as possible at the following email:
elaytogo@gmail.com

However, as I mentioned above, please respect the fact that I’ve nothing further to sell than what’s listed, nor am I interested in any trades.

Auction Schedules and Photos
The shirt auctions will begin 7:00 – 7:30 PST on 2/5
The record auctions will begin 8:00 – 8:30 PST on 2/5
The shirt auctions will end between 2:00 PM – 3:45 PM PST on 2/13
The record auctions will end between 2:00 PM – 3:45 PM PST on 2/13 

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Here is the list, all first pressings except where noted:

7″ Records
Last Rights: Chunks / So Ends Our Night – Taang
Youth of Today: Can’t Close My Eyes – Positive Force – White Lettering – 2nd pressing
Judge: NY Crew – Schism 
Warzone: Lower East Side Crew – Revelation Records 
NYHC: “Together” Compilation – Revelation Records
Crippled Youth: Join the Fight – New Beginning
Underdog: S/T – New Beginning
Side By Side: You’re Only Young Once… – Revelation Records
Slapshot: Same Mistake / Might Makes Right – Taang – Blue Vinyl
Unity: You Are One – Wishingwell Records – not sure what pressing
Alone In A Crowd: S/T – Flux Records – *Vinyl edge has a very slight upturn but does not affect playing at all*
7 Seconds: Blasts from the Past – Positive Force – Green Vinyl – not sure what pressing
Justice League: Think or Sink – Just 4 Fun Records
The Abused: Loud and Clear – Abused Music – *Missing lyric sheet and the cover has come unglued*
Civ: Et Tu Brute / Can’t Wait One Minute More – Revelation Records – White Vinyl
Quicksand: Dine Alone / Can Opener – Polydor Records – Promotional 

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12″ Records
Judge: Bringing It Down – Revelation Records – Green Marble Vinyl
Stalag 13: In Control – Upstart Records
Straight Ahead: S/T – I Risk 
Rest In Pieces: My Rage – One Step Ahead
Youth of Today: BDTW – Wishingwell Records
Uniform Choice: Screaming For Change – Wishingwell Records – Yellow Lettering
Slap Shot: Back On the Map – Taang
Insted: Bonds of Friendship – Wishingwell Records 
No For An Answer: A Thought Crusade – Hawker Records
NYHC Where the Wild Things Are: compilation – Blackout Records
Agnostic Front: Cause For Alarm – Combat Core 
DYS: S/T – Modern Method Records – Promotional
Agression: Don’t Be Mistaken -BYO 
Verbal Assault: Learn – Positive Force – *Missing Poster*
Quicksand: Manic Compression – Rev/Island
Dag Nasty: Can I Say – Dischord
Fair Warning: You Are the Scene – Fair Warning Records
Into Another: S/T – Revelation Records
Mike Judge and Old Smoke: Sights – Revelation Records

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Shirts
Uniform Choice: “Straight and Alert” / 4-sided / Wishingwell / White T w/ Blue and Red Print / Size L – slightly worn condition
Judge: “New York Crew” / 2-sided /Blue T w/ Yellow Schism logo on front pocket / White “Hammers” on back / Size L – good condition
Insted: “Chet” design / 2-sided / Blue T w/ White Insted logo on front pocket / White “Chet” design on back / Size L – good condition
Bad Trip: ? design / 2 sided / White T with Black logo and guy with beer on front pocket / Black drawing of crowd on back / Size L – good condition w/ light stain on front

photo 3

photo 4

photo 1

photo 2

So thanks to all of you who decide to bid on any of these records or t-shirts and lend some support in the process. And of course, my gratitude goes to Tim who has helped me out beyond measure.

Take care all, 
Luke

photo

CRAIG AHEAD PART I
October 22nd, 2012 by Tim

CRAIG SETARI WITH AGNOSTIC FRONT AT CITY GARDENS | PHOTO: KEN SALERNO

Long time friend and occasional DCXX contributor, Lenny Zimkus, spent a good portion of the 90’s as a roadie for Sick Of It All, CIV and Shelter, as well as a handful of other bands. Through out those years of touring, Lenny got to know Sick Of It All bassist, Craig Setari, pretty well and has kept in touch with Craig, long after the roadie work has stopped.

Craig has become a veritable New York Hardcore icon, having played in some of the biggest and best bands (Straight Ahead, Youth of Today, Agnostic Front, Rest In Pieces, Sick Of It All, etc.) to ever emerge out of New York. Lenny pitched the idea to me that he’d like to interview Craig for DCXX, so naturally I told him that the floor was all his.

This is part one of a multiple entry interview. Huge thanks to Lenny and Craig for making this happen and of course Ken for the photos. -Tim DCXX

CRAIG WITH AF AT CITY GARDENS | PHOTO: KEN SALERNO

I grew up in Bayside Queens where I  was born and lived until I moved to Jackson Heights when I was 18 and got my first apartment with Armand and John Devil Dog who I would consider the sheriff of the Alleyway Crew. I lived in Rhode Island a bit and all over the world living out of my bag, sleeping on floors and tour buses. But when I’m not touring I split my time between upstate NY where I have a farm and Queens. Ultimately, Queens is my home, my family is there.

What was your childhood like?
 
My mother was a very loving, caring and supportive person. Very understanding, but we were very poor. My father was an alcoholic so things were rough in the sense that we didn’t have money so we had to make do with what we had. He wasn’t really around so he wasn’t much of an influence on me. What I do remember of him is that he was a rough character. There wasn’t a lot of money but there was a lot love.
 
Do you remember when you started taking an interest in music?

I was probably 6 years old and I remember hearing some radio hits that I liked, then my brother’s friend played me the first Black Sabbath record and that intro with the rain and ominous sounding music made me think of a graveyard. That scared the shit out of me that I almost cried. But I would keep going back to listen to it until I wasn’t scared any more. Early rock and heavy metal was the music that I latched onto. My brother was into Aerosmith, Black Sabbath, etc. I would listen to whatever he brought home, I loved the energy and the excitement of it. I really liked the heavy metal stuff that I was listening to but when I found punk rock it was like heavy metal in the energy but it had a message that really balanced it out and took it to another level. They weren’t singing about a bunch of nonsense. Certain metal bands like Black Sabbath do have decent lyrics but that brought in a whole new wrinkle to the music. It wasn’t just a feeling or the sound, it was a philosophy.

ROGER AND CRAIG WITH AF AT CITY GARDENS | PHOTO: KEN SALERNO


 
What made you pick up an instrument?

I was really into playing drums when I was younger, around 8 or 9 years old. A guy in my neighborhood had a drum set that he was selling but he would never sell it to me. I couldn’t figure out why not, I wanted to play drums. Later I found out that my mother and brother who were friendly with him told him, “we live in a small apartment, you can’t sell him those drums.” So he would say “I don’t know if I’m going to sell them.” He would just play it off. He told me “why don’t you play bass, there are no good bass players.” I didn’t want to play bass, I wanted to play the drums.
 
So eventually my brother’s friend Danny Lilker who is a hardcore and metal musician would come over my house for lunch when I was a kid. Danny and my brother were in junior high and I was probably ten. He brought over a bass and left it there so my brother could play for Anthrax when they were first starting. I picked it up and watched intently as he taught my brother. My brother didn’t really care to play but I learned from Danny. He would bring over metal, punk and hardcore seven inches for me to listen to – like Discharge, GBH, the Bad Brains, and then a little later Black Flag and early NYHC records like Agnostic Front.

From being raised on metal and rock I went to the dirty end of that with hardcore. Not like The Clash, who were more melodic.  That interest came later. I was more interested in the really aggressive sounding music and not the typical sing along. I went through a phase as a kid where I was into fast aggressive music, I wanted the music to be hard, heavy, and dirty. So around 11 or 12 years that was what sparked my interest in hardcore. This guy Dave Dicuzzi who I went to school with was a roadie for The Mob. Also John Omen turned me onto a bunch of music.
 
Really once Danny got me going and I met those other guys, who were part of the scene before me, was when it began. They would say “go check out this band at CB’s” so then I started going there. Everything just seemed like a natural progression, but in such a short time, like a year or two. From first being exposed to it to being being fully immersed in it, it was fast.  The first show that I went to was in early 1984 and that was A.O.D, Bodies In Panic, and Malignant Tumor which I believe was their first show at CB’s. That was the first time I had ventured down there. Now you have to remember I was 14 years old and the city was a different place than it is now. I was pretty much allowed to do what I wanted but I was respectful of my mother and she just said be careful.
 
So on my own I went to a Mets game and then started taking the subway to CB’s…

STIGMA AND CRAIG WITH AF AT CITY GARDENS | PHOTO: KEN SALERNO

MY RAGE
May 30th, 2012 by Gordo

REST IN PIECES AT CBGB | PHOTO: KEN SALERNO

HAWKER RECORDS: A HISTORY
May 17th, 2012 by Larry

Roadrunner Records has just published an article about their short lived hardcore imprint, Hawker Records. Check it out HERE.